The Students and Mentors from the F.A.S.T. Team participated in a series of events at Kettering University over the past weekend. The weekend of events started with a seminar that covered lessons learned from past FRC seasons and games contained within those seasons, this provided the audience with some food for thought on how the games were played and how teams built robots to compete in those games while adhering to the rules of the game for each season. Immediately after this seminar, the release of the new game for this robotics season called "Power Up" was shown on a huge video screen for the audience to watch. The link to the release video is provided below for Power Up. F.A.S.T. Team members took notes while watching the release video.
After the initial release of the game video, the team acquired the Kit of Parts (KoP) that contained the minimal set of parts which allows rookie teams to have the ability to build a chassis which will be the base of this seasons robot for the F.A.S.T. Team. Additional seminars were provided and in which the members of our team participated in such as the LabView coding seminar which provided the students with an idea of how to start programming a robot for competition in Power Up! At the conclusion of Day 1 of the Kick-Off event, the members of the F.A.S.T. Team arrived back in Fowlerville with ideas, strategies and possible abilities the team would want to build into our robot for this season!
Day 2 of the Kick-Off weekend contained a Seminar on Strategy Dictates Design and then a series of hands-on workshops. The Strategy Dictates Design was a session where the specifics of the game were analyzed and subjects such as possible ways to score points, how to start thinking about robot design and limitations were all discussed. In the second half of day, our team members were split into Electrical, Mechanical and Coding teams. Each of these teams had a mentor assigned and took parts out of our Kit of Parts and built the components, which once completed, were used to assemble our fully finished robot chassis which was able to be driven remotely via Wifi.
Finally on the way home from Kettering University after 2 amazing days of lessons and learning our team had a fully functioning robot chassis that we will be using to build the functions that we want to use to score during our competitive events later int he season. We have just over 5 weeks of build season left all of the students have been great learning individuals that have shown nothing but professionalism and respect with anyone they have come in contact with during the first part of this season.
We love and appreciate those company and organizations that have made the choice to partner with us in our pursuit of STEM and FIRST Robotics. The following gracious groups have partnered with us for our Founding Rookie Season!
I am proud to announce that the F.A.S.T. Team is NOW and official FRC registered team! Our FRC Team # is 7056! In addition, we have been registered for our 2 events that we will be competing in with the new game Power Up!
Our very first regional event ever for the team will be on March 22nd through the 24th at Mason High School for the Lansing Regional Event. This will be FIRS Tin Michigan's first look at our team and we will get to know many other teams form the area. Our Head Mentor Pete Eckman and his former team (Team 494) WON this event last year and brought home a blue banner for Goodrich High School.
Our second registered event will be in Battle Creek Michigan for the Lakeview District event. We will take the lessons learned from our first event, make any necessary changes to the robot and compete in this event with teams from around the state. This event starts on April 5th and ends on April 7th. This will be an AWAY event and will be staying in that area for the weekend. Lodging is covered with your participation fees for students. Families are welcome to register for lodging in the same area if they would like.
This is a start to a great adventure and opportunity for the Students of Fowlerville High School!
Head Mentor, the F.A.S.T. Team
Over this past weekend, the F.A.S.T. Team took part in a FIRST Rookie Workshop hosted by FIRST in Michigan. I took 4 students with me on a 90-minute drive to Kentwood Michigan for this event. In this one day event newly registered FRC teams that will be competing in the 2018 Season had the chance to explore and take part in building their very first robot. The task that was presented to he 40 attending teams involved taking pieces of aluminum, sprockets, hand tools and fasteners and assemble a robotic arm that they would be able to take home with them.
The day started with some instruction and exposure on how the teams would take the knowledge learned that day and how to apply that to the competitive season which starts in January. Each part of the arm assembly was provided by a setup steps to follow and then the students, with the help of their mentors, tried to complete the step.
The build process for the arm and the steps followed took up most of the day and by the end or the day, ALL teams had a functioning arm which they took home with them. The F.A.S.T. Team members that attended the workshop adapted their learning abilities and performed the tasks that were given to them and learned some of the basics of robot building at the same time.
The Second part of the day focused on coding a robot to perform tasks through the use of an autonomous process which means no human interaction with any control. This was done with a laptop, some coding software and a robot provided by FIRST in Michigan. Each step of the coding process was provided and the students were expected to follow the example and use trial and error to refine their code for their robot.
The second part of the coding aspect of the workshop was to get a robot to be remotely controlled by the students. This was accomplished by the student teams writing code and then deploying the code to the robot. Again the student members of our team quickly picked up on this and were able to get the robot to be remotely controlled and perform the tasks required in the lesson.
Overall and after asking the students for feedback on the 90 minutes return trip from the workshop I was provided but nothing but positive and how the students on the team are ready for the start to our 2018 season. Not only do I believe that these students showed that we are ready to take on the "Power Up" themed game for the 2018 season but they had the chance to meet the other teams we will be competing with this coming season. Good behavior, positivity and thirst for knowledge were all expressed and as the Head Mentor for the Team, I was proud of all of them!
The F.A.S.T. Team is a newly formed F.I.R.S.T. Robotics Team that will be competing in our inaugural competitive season starting in January of 2018. If you would like to know more about F.I.R.S.T. then please use this link. The link will take you to the FIRST Inspires website where you can read all about the program, how it inspires children of all ages and outreach that robotics team such as the F.A.S.T. team does for the communities we live in.
As our team grows it will create its own history and will fill this page with great stories and accomplishments. We are not starting our team without experience in F.I.R.S.T. Robotics. Our Head Mentor and Leader Pete Eckman is an experienced mentor that has served on both Team 70 "More Martians" and Team 494 "The Martians" which both call Goodrich High School home.
If you would like to read more on Teams 70 and 494 please use the links provided below:
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